Karakuri Babble is a daily column by the editors of i360.com, usually on topics tangentially related to anime and cosplay.

In the past we have endorsed many things; in the future we shall support many others.

things we're reluctant to talk about.

Been watching the (third or fourth, depending on how you count) series of Genshiken, "Second Generation" 「げんしけん二代目」. Have I mentioned I really have a soft spot for cheap cash-ins?

Of course, it's riddled with faults. I could complain all day. But the crazy thing is that, after a while, it becomes impossible to tell which are faults, and which are microscopically-precise parodies of anime tropes. They're the worst excesses of anime, exactly where you would expect to find them! How trenchant!

For example, one of the characters has a. . . sort of imaginary friend that he talks to. It's himself as a girl, naked, and she's fond of the sort of whole-body wriggling gestures that, well, I'm sure you've seen a lot of in moe anime. The fact that they can put this in a really small-scale episode about two guys becoming friends, and make it work, and leave you feeling that you've learned something about the characters and that they make sense -- it's not something I would have believed had I not seen it.

I'm pretty impressed, actually. Watch episode 3. It's not Utena -- I think Utena has more to say about the human condition -- but it's not entirely silent on the matter. They handle a lot of material I'd frankly be afraid to even allude to, and I defy anyone to consider their treatment less-than-nuanced.

words from chris, 2013-08-03 02:07:26, los angeles

272 > 375

I owe the comedic value of a parody that's indistinguishable from the real thing to Wondermark.

The bit about the human condition is from Penny-Arcade, also. It's a useful construction, especially when dealing with something light that nonetheless still has the power to astound.

-- ct♥

272 > 376

Also, Madarame's room in that episode is perfect. I especially love the Ika Musume posters. Although the CCS one is also a nice touch.

There's a lot of other stuff that I probably should recognize. Some I do, some I'm not sure of, some I have no idea. Reminded once again that the Japanese meme-space is quite different from the one I know.

-- ct♥